The U.S. is rejoining the Paris Agreement; now what?

February 11, 2021 | 3min read

Under the Obama administration, the U.S. joined nearly 200 other countries in the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016, marking a commitment to combat climate change. The agreement calls for limiting the global temperature increase, reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, and shifting toward renewable energy systems. In 2020, President Trump formally withdrew from the accord, making the U.S. the only country to withdraw. However, President Biden has now decided to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and continue the battle against the climate crisis

Paris Agreement Climate Goals

According to the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), we must limit Earth’s temperature increase to 1.5C degrees to preserve planet livability. The Paris Climate Agreement was created to ensure we stick to this temperature goal and reduce climate change impacts. It provides a framework for countries to work together in finance, technology, and capacity-building for climate change. More affluent countries are required to lead the cause by helping developing countries finance renewable energies and adapt to climate change impacts. Although temperature rate is the common target, each country can set its individual emission-reduction objectives every five years. These are formally known as National Determined Contributions (NDCs) and are mandatory. All countries will be submitting updates to their plans at the annual Conference of the Parties (CoP) in 2021. They will also be reviewing new agreement procedures and discussing voluntary long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies (LT-LEDS). 

The U.S. has its own objectives

During his campaign, President Biden presented a climate plan with goals even more ambitious than those stated in the Paris Climate Agreement. The president is determined to meet the agreement goals, as well as some of his own. He hopes to achieve a 100% clean energy economy and ‘net-zero’ emissions by 2050.  John Kerry, the now Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, will lead the effort and create new measures to abide by the agreement and address the climate crisis.  

What the Paris agreement means for solar 

The agreement framework recommends changes to energy systems, land management, and transportation. Solar energy is a renewable and clean alternative to fossil fuels. By installing solar, we combat greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Solar energy systems provide a direct contribution to the temperature increase goal of the Paris Climate Agreement. To reduce toxic gas emissions, policymakers are encouraged to scale up renewable energy with incentives and policies. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), solar has maintained a 49% annual growth rate thanks to federal tax credit incentives. Solar installation costs are also lower than ever. It is likely policymakers will continue to encourage the expansion of solar. 

Solar is one of the critical solutions mentioned in the Paris Climate Agreement. At Freedom Forever, we are prepared to help all policymakers involved to meet these goals. Be part of the solution and consider getting solar or join us by reviewing currently open positions. Be sure to change the location in the link to a city near you to view jobs in your area.

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